WANATAH — One hundred years ago, William E. Pinney and his daughter, Myra Pinney Clark, gifted 486 acres of farmland on the La Porte-Porter county line near Wanatah to Purdue University with a dedication for “the advancement of agriculture and the enrichment of country life.”

A centennial celebration will be held at what is now the Pinney-Purdue Agricultural Center, 11402 S. County Line Road, Wanatah, on June 22 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The day will start with continuous presentations on vintage corn and soybean varieties by Purdue Agronomy Specialists Bob Nielsen and Shaun Casteel; Red Poll cattle from Shuter Sunset Farms of Frankton will be on display; and an heirloom garden of the early 1900s era will be demonstrated by Purdue Master Gardeners.

Continuous displays will include 100 years of tractors with models from every decade on display by local farmers and collectors; a history of Pinney-Purdue research from pictures over the years; and framed photos and cattle show awards documenting the important history of Pinney’s work with Red Poll cattle.

Emcee for the formal activities during the sponsored lunch at noon will be Dr. Marshall Martin, Senior Associate Director of Agricultural Research at Purdue, Assistant Dean and Professor of Agricultural Economics. The keynote speaker is Fred Whitford, Clinical Engagement Professor, Director of Purdue Pesticide Programs, who will discuss Purdue’s rich history in practical research and sharing of knowledge.

Research projects at Pinney Purdue have changed over the years but the mission has stayed the same – providing local research on important issues. On the farm, Red Poll cattle were being bred to find the best combination of a beef and dairy cow possible. There was also research on early corn and soybeans varieties that continues to this day. Studies now involve research on solving crop pest and disease problems. Over the years, horticulture research was also added including projects on tomatoes, sweet corn, melons, pumpkins, high tunnels and much more!

The community is invited to celebrate this milestone at Pinney-Purdue Ag Center. There is no fee to attend, but folks interested in attending are asked to register at http://tinyurl.com/Pinney100Year or call the La Porte County Extension Office at 324-9407 or the Porter County Extension Office at (219) 465-3555.

More information about Pinney Purdue Ag Center and updates on the event are at http://purdue.ag/pinney2019.

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